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Biological Control of Insect Pests

Natural enemies of insects are extremely important in preventing pest outbreaks in field crops.  These natural enemies include predators, parasitoids, and diseases such as Neozygites fresenii (the cotton "aphid fungus"). Common predators observed in cotton and other crops are spiders, lacewings, big-eyed bugs, insidious flower bugs, lady beetles, syrphid fly larvae, ants, ground beetles, assassin bugs, damsel bugs, and spined soldier bugs.

There are a number of parasitic wasps that also attack insect pests including stink bug egg parasitoids, Trichopoda (on stink bugs), Cardiochiles (on tobacco budworm), Cotesia marginiventris (on armyworms), Lysiphlebus testaceipes (on aphids), and Copidosoma floridanum (on loopers).

Printer Friendly Publication, Common Beneficial Arthropods Found in Field Crops (W127)  (Caution - large PDF file, 2.3 MB)

The sites below provide additional information about various aspects of natural enemies that may help to control insect pests.
Cornell University
Cotton Aphid Fungus and Fungus Sampling Service (University of Arkansas)
Univ. of Nebraska, Biocontrol with Nematodes